These are good. Watch them. Check out the blog. I had no idea that Star Wars was such a pastiche (see part 2). Brilliant. It’s all very Ecclesiastes.
Remix. Remix. Everything is a remix.
Or perhaps, to quote Ecclesiastes:
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
Here’s a line from part 2:
“George Lucas collected materials, he combined them, he transformed them. Without the films that preceded it, there could be no Star Wars. Creation requires influence. Everything we make is a remix of existing creations, our lives, and the lives of others.“
Here’s the take on Avatar:
“Of the few box office hits that aren’t remakes, adaptations or sequels, the word “original” wouldn’t spring to mind to describe ‘em. These are genre movies, and they stick to pretty standard templates. Genres then break-up into sub-genres with their own even more specific conventions. So within the category of horror films we have sub-genres like slasher, zombie, creature feature, and of course, torture porn. All have standard elements that are appropriated, transformed and subverted.
Let’s use the biggest film of the decade as an example. Now it’s not a sequel, remix or adaptation, but it is a genre film — sci-fi — and most tellingly, it’s a member of a tiny sub-genre where sympathetic white people feel bad about all the murder, pillaging, and annihilation being done on their behalf.
I call this sub-genre “Sorry about Colonialism!” I’m talking about movies like Dances With Wolves, The Last Samurai, The Last of the Mohicans, Dune, Lawrence of Arabia, A Man Called Horse, and even Fern Gully and Pocahontas.”
This extended look at Kill Bill’s hat tips to everything in cinema is a little too violent for me to embed. But check it out.